Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says club has underachieved this season, but looks for perspective

General view - Britannia Stadium

Stoke have under-performed by their own standards this season, and could finish as low as 16th.

Stoke manager Mark HughesStoke manager Mark Hughes

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes still thinks he has the club's supporters onside despite a very poor season by the club's recent standards, which culminated with swathes of fans leaving before the team's lap of appreciation, as reports the Stoke Sentinel.

The Potters' last home fixture of the season resulted in a 4-1 thumping to Arsenal, and many of the fans voted with their feet upon the full time whistle as it looks very likely that Stoke will finish in their lowest Premier League position since they were promoted in 2008.

The lowest Stoke had finished before was 14th in the 2011/12 season, which is the position the club currently occupy, but if results go against them and if they lose to Southampton on Sunday - who themselves can secure eighth with a win - they could finish as low as 16th.

However, Hughes still maintains that he has the fan support and the walkout was nothing unexpected given the high levels of performance set by the club that the players ultimately failed to reach, and says he will strive to make things better next season.

Stoke City manager Mark HughesStoke City manager Mark Hughes

"No, no. It is what it is. We have raised the expectation ourselves," Hughes said when asked about lots of fans leaving long before the club's lap of appreciation, as reported by the Stoke Sentinel. "We are in the Premier League, the strongest league in world football.

"Since I came here, we have raised expectations, and rightly so, because everybody wants to be stimulated by good seasons and seasons viewed as progressive seasons. This is the only one we haven't achieved what we set out to do.

"Some players will leave, clearly, and we go again. You use anything that's happened in previous years as experience, whether positive or negative, and it's our intention to be better next year."

Stoke City manager Mark HughesStoke City manager Mark Hughes

It will be interesting to see what positions Hughes strengthens in over the summer, though it looks highly likely that unless there are departures, Hughes will not be looking to bring in a new goalkeeper.

Stand in stopper Lee Grant has just won the club's Player of the Year award, and England international Jack Butland has returned from his injury troubles, giving Hughes a lot of food for thought as to who to put in-between the sticks next year.

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